MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – On a dead-end road in downtown Murfreesboro sits an old house that gives the neighborhood the creeps.
“You hear stories from people that come for tours that in the late 50s this was like the haunted house of town because it was empty and it was the house you were dared to run up and throw a walk in the window or something,” Oaklands Mansion Educational Director, Mary Beth Nevills said.
Since then, it’s been restored into the Oaklands Mansion we know today, which is open for curious visitors to tour.
But in October, the house lives up to its nickname, “The Creepy Old House,” taking visitors deep into how families in the 1800s mourned the death of a loved one. During that time period, there were so many superstitions surrounding death.
Visitors will notice all of the mirrors in the house are covered with black drapes.
“One of [the superstitions] was that when someone in the house passed away the next to see their reflection would be the next to go,” explained Nevills.
People were sick and often died in their own homes.
At Oaklands, they’ve recreated exactly a death bed would look like, located conveniently next to the embalming room.
There’s even a traditional table a physician would use to preserve the remains.
In the parlor, there was the coffin, where someone was sure to stay with the body around the clock until the funeral service.
“[It was] to make sure you didn’t wake up,” Nevills said. “To make sure you really were dead.”
And what happened after the service was probably most important.
“You would be carried out feet first,” explained Nevills. “One of the other superstitions was that if you were carried out head first that your soul might beckon others to follow.”
During the Victorian Era, people always knew when a woman was in mourning because she would dress in black for years following the death of a loved one.
It seems like not one homeowner of the past dismissed the early superstitions because no one has any paranormal stories– yet.